Bill Bronchick

Bulletproof Your Wealth with Family Limited Partnerships and LLC's
by Bill Bronchick

A limited partnership is a partnership that has at least one limited partner and one general partner. Most states require the filing of a certificate with the state in order to be recognized as a limited partnership.

The limited partners generally have no liability beyond their contribution to the partnership. If the limited partnership business fails, the creditor cannot go after the limited partners for debts (there are a few minor exceptions to this rule that are not difficult to avoid). Furthermore, limited partners are not personally liable for wrongful acts committed by the other partners. In exchange for this limited liability, the limited partners give up their right to participate in the control and management of the partnership.

The general partners run the management of the partnership. The general partners control the cash distributions to the partners. The general partners also have unlimited liability, as in a general partnership. Creditors of the partnership can look to the general partners' personal assets if the limited partnership's assets are insufficient. Furthermore, the general partners are liable to third parties for wrongful conduct within the partnership business (e.g., a "slip and fall lawsuit"). Thus, a corporation is usually better for pure liability protection for its owners.

The limited partnership does not pay taxes as an "entity." It files an informational tax return to the IRS. It issues a form K-1 to the partners who include the partnership income or loss on their personal tax returns. The partners must pay income tax on all gains whether or not the profit is distributed.

Creditors of individual partners cannot take a partner's place in the partnership. A creditor may garnish the partner's share of income (called a "charging order"), but has no right to participate in the management or utilize partnership property. Thus, if a limited partner's income is garnished by a creditor, the general partner (who should be under the limited partner's control) can frustrate the creditor by not distributing income to the partners. Since a partner is required to pay taxes on his share of the income whether or not the income is distributed, guess who gets the tax bill? You guessed it, the creditor! If your assets are held in a limited partnership, they are virtually judgment-proof!

The Family Limited Partnership

Let's look at a variation known as a "family" limited partnership. Suppose that you and your spouse create a limited partnership to hold your family's liquid assets. Your limited partnership contributions are all of your stocks, cash, CD's and mutual funds totaling $300,000. Your partnership agreement could state that your spouse will act as general partner with a 2% share (the size of the general partnership share does not affect the general partner's power to manage the partnership's affairs). You agree in writing that your contributions constitute a 98% limited partnership interest.

The partnership agreement could further state that the limited partnership shall have the right to buy out the general partner for his share of the partnership and appoint a new general partner to replace her (the "you" in this example is the husband; we are making the wife general partner because we assume that husband's risk of getting sued is higher; if the opposite were true, then we would arrange the partnership accordingly).

Let's say that you are sued and a creditor obtains a $50,000 judgment against your name. The creditor can attach your limited partnership interest but only to the extent of your income as a limited partner (called a "charging order"). The creditor who attaches a limited partnership interest cannot participate in the management of the partnership, and thus cannot force the general partner, your spouse, to distribute income. As general partner, your spouse stops paying the limited partners' distributions, because in her discretion the limited partnership would be better served to reinvest the capital.

One year later, the creditor still has a $50,000 unsatisfied judgment. Just to top it off, the partnership sends the creditor a form "K-1" for the creditor's share of your "phantom" income (In our example, the partnership assets are worth $300,000. At a 10% annual return, your share of income would be approximately $30,000 - the creditor would have to pay income taxes in the ballpark of $10,000! If the creditor does not pay the tax due on your undistributed share of income, the IRS may come after the creditor!). You will be in a strong position to force your creditor to settle his claim for a fraction of its value.

Let's say a creditor sues your spouse and tries to attack your spouse's general partnership interest. At that point, the partnership exercises its power under the partnership agreement to buy out her general partnership interest in the amount of $2,000 or 2%. The partnership then finds a new general partner. With proper planning, this may not be considered a "fraudulent" conveyance because the general partner received full compensation for her partnership share.

As you can see, the limited partnership is one of the few entities which affords control over your money, yet still provides you with asset protection.

"Family" LLC's - To Good to be True?

Another similar tool for protecting your wealth is the LLC or "Limited Liability Company." An LLC is like a cross between a corporation and a limited partnership. All of its partners (called "members") have limited liability and all of its members can participate in the management of the LLC without suffering any liability.

Any assets you hold in an LLC are protected from creditors in the same way your assets are protecting in a limited partnership (i.e., the creditor's remedy is limited to a "charging order"). In addition, since all members are shielded from liability, an LLC may be an excellent device for holding investment real estate - the members are protected from tenant lawsuits and the equity of the members is protected from other creditors.

Bill Bronchick
William Bronchick, CEO of Legalwiz Publications, is a Nationally-known attorney, author, entrepreneur and speaker. Mr. Bronchick has been practicing law and real estate since 1990, having been involved in over 600 transactions. He has appeared as a guest on numerous radio and television talk shows including CNBC Power Lunch. He has been featured in Who's Who in American Business, Money Magazine, the Los Angeles Times and the Denver Business Journal. William Bronchick has served as President of the Colorado Association of Real Estate Investors since 1996.

Bill Bronchick Products (9)
CoursesHow to Create a Bulletproof Corporation
CoursesHow to Create Your Own LLC and Family Limited Partnership
CoursesStep by Step Guide to Land Trusts
CoursesUltimate Guide to Buy and Hold
CoursesUltimate Guide to Fix and Flip
CoursesUltimate Guide to Owner Financing
CoursesUltimate Guide to Wholesaling
SpecialsWealth Protection Library
CoursesWealth Protection Strategies

Copyright Notice
Copyright 2002-2020 All Rights Reserved. Published with Permission of Author. No part of this publication may be copied or reprinted
without the express written permission of the Author and/or

Back to Top

Free Newsletter

Article Options
Printer Friendly Page
Send This to Friend

Author's Articles
10 Easy Tips for Finding Investment Properties
10 Inexpensive Ways to Spruce Up Your Rental or Rehab Property
60 Days To Your First Bargain Purchase
7 Real Estate Contract Buyer Clauses Checklist
7 Reasons to Use a Land Trust
7 Ways To Buy Foreclosure Property
9 Goal Setting Tips For Real Estate Investors
9 Mistakes New Real Estate Investors Make
A Review of the National Consumer Law Center
All About Property Disclosures
Apartment Investing - Investors Now Is the Perfect Time!
Are Real Estate Seminars Worth the Money?
Are You a Newbie at a Real Estate Club?
Are You Clear On What is a Good Deal
Are You Waiting on the Sidelines?
Bankruptcy, Foreclosure, & Credit - How it Affects You
Bankruptcy, Foreclosure, & Credit - Part II
Basics of the Real Estate Contract
Be a Smart Investor... Do the Math
Big Brother Is Watching You, New (Bad) Legislation Coming Your Way
Bubble, Schmubble - Flipping Works in Any Market
Bull vs. Bubble
Bulletproof Your Wealth with Family Limited Partnerships and LLC's
Buy A House - Get Thrown in Jail?
Buying at the Foreclosure Auction
Collecting Money Owed by a Tenant
Common Investor Legal Mistakes
Common Sense Mortgage Tips
Contents of a Good Short Sale Package
Contract for Deed
Create Monthly Cash Flow Without Any of Your Own Money or Credit
Dealing with Real Estate Agents
Dealing with the Dealer Issue
Dealing With the Due on Sale Clause - Part II
Do You Need a License to Flip Real Estate?
Equity Sharing & Partnerships
Essential Contract Clauses
Essential Contract Clauses II
Explaining Foreclosure Options to the Homeowner
Five Big Mistakes Newbies Make
Flipping Properties for Cash Profit
Flipping Versus Holding - Which is Better?
Get That Property Out of Your Name!
Getting Started as a Real Estate Entrepreneur
How Much Cash Should an Investor Keep in Reserve?
How to Create a Real Estate Cash Cow
How to Determine Property Values in Today's Market
How to Get a Hard Money Loan
How to Save Up to 90% on Title Insurance
HUD Properties, FHA & Title Seasoning
Illegal Flipping and Lender Seasoning
Investing in a Changing Market
Investing Outside of Your Local Area
Investing Strategy - Master Lease Option for Apartments
Keep a Positive Perspective in a Negative Market
Know Your Real Estate Laws
Learn the Landlord-Tenant Rules!
Lease Option a Junker!
Lease Option Tips & Strategies
Lease/Option 101
Lease/Option vs. Contract for Deed
Lease/Options & the Equitable Interest
Mortgage Broker vs. Mortgage Banker
Non-Income Verification Loans
Owner Financing Mechanics
Personal Property Trusts
Real Estate Investing Financing 101
Real Estate Investing is Just Like Weight Loss
Reduce Taxes By Investing In Real Estate
Risks of Buying Real Estate in Emerging Markets Out of State
Scripting Common Objections from Foreclosure Sellers
Setting Your Financial Goals
Seven Ways to Flip a Property
Should the Government Bail Out People in Foreclosure?
Should You Disclose on Short Sale Flips?
Should You Do Real Estate Full-Time?
Should You Use an Attorney's Fee Clause?
Tax Issues on a Subject 2 Deal
Tax Lien Investing 101
Ten Myths Preventing People from Succeeding in Real Estate Investing
The Basics of "Short Sales"
The Bona Fide Purchaser
The Ethical Real Estate Investor
The Forgotten Owner Carry
The Mortgage Elimination
The New Limited Liability Company
The Not-So-Handy Man's Guide to Fixing and Flipping Properties
The Property Recording System
The Role of Insurance in Asset Protection Planning
The Wrong Way to Invest in Real Estate
There is No Due on Sale Jail
Top Ten Ways to Get Sued - Guaranteed!
Understanding Loan Terms
Understanding The Mortgage Loan Market
Using A Home Equity Line Of Credit To Buy Properties
Using a LLC IRA for Real Estate Investing
Using Facebook as a Real Estate Investor
Using Trusts for Personal & Business Privacy
What Every Landlord Should Know About Discrimination
What to Do if a Tenant Abandons the Property
What You Need to Ask Before Joining a Coaching Program
Where to Incorporate: The Answer May Surprise You!
You Have to Sell a House to Get it Sold
Zero In On Motivated Sellers

Author's Products

How to Create a Bulletproof Corporation

How to Create Your Own LLC and Family Limited Partnership

Step by Step Guide to Land Trusts

Ultimate Guide to Buy and Hold

Ultimate Guide to Fix and Flip

Ultimate Guide to Owner Financing

Ultimate Guide to Wholesaling

Wealth Protection Library

Wealth Protection Strategies